Understanding Why You Should Not Trim Trees In The Fall

Posted on: 14 December 2018

If you have a number of trees on your property that are not very aesthetically pleasing, then you may want to do a bit of trimming. And, summer and winter can be times that you can schedule your trimming sessions. While this is true, you should try to avoid cutting your trees in the fall. There are a few reasons for this.

Trees Are More Prone To Fungal Injections

When you trim a tree, you are leaving the trimmed edge exposed to the elements and to the microorganisms that live in the region. And, since the fall season is quite moist, this is the perfect time for fungi spores to thrive, make contact with your trees, and start growing into a larger infection.

Not only is there more fungi around in the environment, but the colder weather reduces the ability of your trees to fight off infections of all types. This is also true when trees start transitioning from their growing to dormant period.

The only time that you may want to trim in the fall and risk the health of the tree is when it is damaged. In this scenario, the benefits will outweigh the risks. Just make sure to keep on eye on the trimmed branches for signs of fungal infections and also spray a fungicide approved by your local arborist.

The Tree Will Spend Energy On Repair

A trimmed limb will partially or minimally repair itself regardless of the weather. And, the energy resources of the tree will be used to make the repair. Typically, in the fall, the tree will transfer its energy resources to the roots of the tree instead of the limbs since buds are not needed at this time. This allows the tree to conserve energy and to pull up the limited water and nutrients it needs to survive.

Any energy that is transferred elsewhere can result in a hardship of the tree, which in turn, can result in winter damage.

However, you should understand that dead branches can be pruned in the fall if you forgot to cut them away in the summer. These branches can break and tear healthy tree tissues. So, ask your arborist to identify dead branches to be sure you are not cutting away healthy ones.

Also, think about mulching and watering the roots deeply before the first frost to help encourage tree health. 

If you want to know more about tree trimming and the best time to cut your tree, speak with an arborist.